It is a real joy for us to consider together this subject of the promises of God to the CHOSEN PEOPLE. It was on the third 1000 year day from the creation of Adam that an important promise was made to Abraham, the grandfather of Jacob whose 12 sons became the typical people of God. It was at the death of Jacob that the Jewish age had its beginning.
Before we go further let us review this promise that has been so precious to us–it is the promise that was made to Abraham. This promise was made because of Abraham’s faith. You recall that Abraham was asked by God to offer up his son, his only son Isaac. The account reminds us that Abraham rose up early in the morning and went on his journey which was parts of three days. In Gen. 22:4 we are reminded that it was on the third day that Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off. Abraham went so far as to lift
his hand with the knife to slay his son Isaac. Then the angel of the Lord stopped him from doing so. His faith had been sufficiently tested.
We are told that the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham the second time and said, “By myself have I sworn saith the Lord; for because thou hast done this thing, and not withheld thy son, thine only son; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I
will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed: because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Gen. 22:15-18) That was
a wonderful promise that was made to Abraham. As we have noted, at the death of his grandson Jacob, God began dealing in a special way with these descendants of Abraham.
In the book of Amos, chapter 3, verse 2, we read: “You only have I known (or recognized) of all the families of the earth.” Now may we turn to Exodus the 6th chapter, verses 6-8: “Therefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will
bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage. I am the Lord.”
We are told that at the first advent of Jesus our Lord came unto this chosen people of old. By the way, he came to them on the 3rd 1000-year day from the time this promise had been made by God to Abraham. This we believe did not happen by chance. In John the
first chapter beginning with verse 11, we are told that our Lord came unto his own (the Jewish people, the CHOSEN PEOPLE of God) and his own received him not. Now what John wrote is that as a whole this typical people, this chosen people of old, rejected our
Lord; but as many (that is as many of the Israelites indeed) as did accept our Lord, to them he gave power(i.e. the right or privilege) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Those Israelites indeed who accepted Christ in the stead of
Moses were transferred from Moses into Christ. These as John reminds us in verse 13 were begotten of the spirit; they were begotten not of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God. They were begotten of the Spirit to the divine nature.
In Acts the 15th chapter we read beginning with verse 14: “Simeon (i.e. Simon Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written After this (i.e. after this people for Christ’s name had been selected) I (the Lord) will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up.”
We well know that it has taken nearly 2000 years for the selection of the Israelites indeed. Not enough of the CHOSEN PEOPLE of old were in the right heart condition to accept this arrangement. So, therefore in 36 A. D. this invitation to become the bride of
Christ was extended to the Gentiles. Then we are told here in Acts that when this chosen people has been selected the kingdom will be established in the earth. It is this kingdom that will bless not only the Gentiles but also the Jews. This seems to be indicated in verse 17; the residue of men (the remainder of the Jews) will be blest and not only will they be blest but all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called saith the Lord who doeth all these things. The Apostle Paul reminded us in Romans the 11th chapter that natural Israel, the CHOSEN PEOPLE of God of old, would be blinded in part until this select class is selected from both Jews and Gentiles.
The majority of the “little flock” is being made up since 36 A.D. It is being made up of chiefly Gentiles, but any Jew accepting our Lord since that time can also come into Christ. “For I would not, (Rom. 11:25) brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” When we read this scripture we like to explain the difference between the “times of the Gentiles” and “the fullness of the
Gentiles.” As Bible Students, we have learned that the “times of the Gentiles” expired in 1914 at the end of 2520 years “The fullness of the Gentiles does not refer to the nations but rather to the selection of the “little flock” from the Gentiles; until this full number is selected from both Jews and Gentiles, Paul reminds us that natural Israel would be blind in part.
Paul continues in verse 26: “And so all Israel shall be saved.” Isn’t this a wonderful promise to the CHOSEN PEOPLE of old? “All Israel shall be saved”; i.e. they shall be saved from this blind condition that has engulfed them for so long. Not only will they be saved from this blind condition, but those who have died will be awakened from the
prison-house of death. “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer (Head and body), and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
Another promise made to them is found in Jer. 31:31. Paul quotes from this promise in Hebrews. the 8th chapter. As Bible Students we enjoy hearing these promises over and over again. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord; but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel (the
CHOSEN PEOPLE of old), =after those days saith the Lord I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts; and will be their God and they shall be my people.
After those days (i.e. after spiritual Israel has been selected) it will be possible for the blood of Christ to seal this new law covenant. The merit of Christ is passing through us, the consecrated, on its way for the sealing of the new law covenant. It is then that God will begin to put his law in the inward parts of not only natural Israel but also the
Gentiles. There will be many Gentiles who will quickly come in under this arrangement.
What does Jeremiah mean when he says that God will put his law in their inward parts? We believe that this is a beautiful way of saying that God is going to see to it (through Christ) that every individual (both Jews and Gentiles) will come to an accurate knowledge of the truth. There will be no misunderstanding then as to what is truth.
Every one will know the truth from the least unto the greatest. It will be in their minds.
They will know what God’s law is. Not everyone who knows the law however, will obey it. It is only those who respond to this arrangement who will have God’s law rewritten, as Jeremiah brings to our attention, in their hearts.
Don’t you believe, friends, that most people will, under those favorable conditions of the kingdom, with Satan fully bound, accept this arrangement and have God’s law rewritten in their hearts? Should they not do so (and there will be some who will not) we are told in Acts 3:23: “Every soul (every being) who will not hear that prophet (the Christ) shall be destroyed (cut off) from among the people.” Yes, those who do respond, as Jeremiah brings to our attention, will become the people of God. They will become Israelites indeed. This arrangement we note will start with the natural descendants of Abraham, the CHOSEN PEOPLE of God.
There is another promise that we would like to briefly bring to our attention. It is found in Hosea the 6th chapter, verses 1 and 2: “Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; He hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days
will he revive us: in the third day he will raise up and we shall live in his sight.” Natural Israel experienced the blessings of the Lord for a period of 1845 years. As long as they were obedient, they experienced blessings; when they were disobedient they were
chastised for the purpose of bringing them back unto the ways of the Lord. Isaiah brings to our attention in chapter 40, verses 1 and 2 that there would be a “double.” Briefly we will note that Israel experienced 1845 years of favor from the death of Jacob to 33 A.D.
when our Lord was crucified. That is easy to remember: from the death of Jacob when the Jewish age began to the death of Jesus was a period of 1845 years. Isaiah brings to our attention that Israel would experience a like period of disfavor. Why would they have this like period of disfavor? It is because they rejected our Lord. He came unto his own and they rejected him. Because of this they have experienced a period of 1845 years of disfavor. When did this end?–in 1878, 145 years after 33 A. D.
The third 1000 year day from Adam was the time of the promise to Abraham. On the third 1000 year day from the Abrahamic promise, our Lord was on the world stage; his mother was a Jewess. On the third 1000 year day from the death of our Lord another important descendant of Abraham was on the world stage. In 1878 Disraeli,
Prime Minister of Great Britain, shaped important world events. Is it or is it not significant that in 1973 another natural descendant of Abraham is on the world stage? We think, friends, that it is significant.
In Hosea we notice that the Lord promised natural Israel that they would be torn; they would be smitten. After this period of 1845 years which would be the 3rd day from the rejection of our Lord, they would be raised up and live in his sight. Natural Israel, the
CHOSEN PEOPLE of old, is on the world stage again. They are still blind in part; they will remain blinded in part until the “little flock” is complete.
May we refer now to Ezek. 16:53. This is a promise which will have a future application to individuals. They have been restored as a nation, but it is not yet time for the new covenant to be inaugurated with that people. “When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them.” Verse 55: “When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former estate and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.” Isn’t that a precious promise to the CHOSEN PEOPLE of old?
In Ezekiel 38 we are reminded that Israel has a Northern enemy. It seems that the whole world will either be against or will sit back and do nothing for Israel in the final time of trouble. Let us note in verse 11: “Thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely (confidently) all of them
dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.” Israel today is certainly confident. The time will come when Israel’s enemies would drive her into the sea if it were possible; however, that is not possible. At the close of Jacob’s trouble, God, through Christ, will fight for Israel as he did in the days of old. Israel is back to stay.
After the trouble is stopped a new covenant will be inaugurated with Israel; then their blind eyes will be opened; they will learn the truth. At that time the Gentiles will also begin to be blessed. Praise the Lord!